recycle & remember

One Word.  Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word.  Explain why you’re choosing that word.  Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?

2010 began as a tumultuous year for me.  One career had ended for me and new time in my life had begun.  I felt uncertain in my community as malicious and unfounded rumors were swirling around about me and my family.  I felt as if I couldn’t trust many.  Truthfully, I couldn’t.  I retreated inside myself further and further. I didn’t know who I was anymore. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to know who I was anymore.  

A time of transition would be almost too cliche for what I experienced in 2010.  To be sure, there is a lot of 2010 that I want to forget.  There has been a lot of pain and heartache in the past 335 days.  A great many tears and my heart broke and shattered.  This is the year that I learned that epoch lesson of Man’s cruelty to Man — why? because I experienced first hand in my own community and was the target of it, by people I trusted and people I worked side by side with for the entire duration of my teaching career.

I lived through things I will never quite understand.  And yet, I’m beginning to realize that perhaps it is not my purpose to understand the Why of it.  And maybe I am not even to accept the What.  

Sometimes things just Are.  

And so, for 2010 I have come to realize that I will never be who I was before.  And though I mourn for her, and I miss her, I am proud to say I have survived.  There has been much joy in 2010.  I learned to laugh again in 2010.  I became a stay-at-home in 2010.  I found my joy in cooking again in 2010.  I found myself in writing again in 2010.  I have shaken off (and am continuing to do so) all the horror from 2010 and am rebuilt myself in 2010.  

The word I have chosen for 2010?  
Naturally I have chosen: Recycle.

By the end of 2010 I took cast aside material and created something new.  Clearly it should be obvious how exhausting this has been. It takes a lot of work to recycle yourself.  There were times this past year when it felt like I was completely broken down.

When I try to project myself a year from now, I do so with a great deal of difficulty.  I’ve had difficulty doing this for quite some time.  For so much of this past year it has been constantly living in just the present time.  Essentially, survival living.  To suddenly try to think a full year in advance is such a stretch of the imagination I do not think I could do such a thing.  I’ve stared at this blinking cursor longer than I care to admit.  Only to write a sentence about staring at a blinking cursor.

When forced to do so, however, I suppose the word I would select for the end of 2011 would be:


I do not choose this word out of morbidity. (My husband might think so, and I may be scolded later, so I best finish and publish quickly while he isn’t home.) I select it out of reverence.

I say reverence because I want to always remember how difficult it has been for me to recover from 2010.  I want to remember how I survived.  I want to remember how I no matter what was said about me and my family, I kept my head up in public. I want to remember that when the dust settled we knew the truth. I want to remember that at the end of the day, when it came to battling windmills or dragons, I fought both because it mattered. Remembrance matters to me, you see, and I don’t want to ever forget that I once had inner strength and resiliency. 

2010 was the year for recycling myself.  

2011 will be the year for remembrance.   

C. Streetlights
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Published by C. Streetlights

I wrote and illustrated my first bestseller, "The Lovely Unicorn" in the second grade and I've been terrified of success ever since. Published by ShadowTeamsNYC and represented by Lisa Hagen Books

13 thoughts on “recycle & remember”

  1. janhad3 says:

    Remembering is oh, so very important. It's like with forgiveness……you can forgive – you MUST forgive – but you aren't required to forget. In fact, I don't think it wise to forget. There are things to be learned when one suffers at another's hand, or when one suffers (and hurts others) by their own choices. Remembering is necessary to further prevention. And, as always, I speak from painful experience.

  2. Jonathan says:

    Love, how could I scold you for such a poignant image. I love you and am proud of you. Remember that.

  3. There is strength in recycling. And strength in remembering. You are much stronger than you think. For every negative you heard there was always a positive that you did not hear. Negative talk is just louder. The strong, like you, know how to listen to the calm beneath.

    Good luck on your journey.

  4. Wow. So inspiring. I'm so glad you are reverbing!

  5. That was a truly inspired reply to today's prompt. Relished every word. Retrospection. Introspection. Reverence through remembrance. Just remember to keep on keepin' on.

    I look forward to reading your responses during #reverb10. Colour me intrigued and wholly impressed. <3

  6. don't you ever, ever, ever forget that i have a blue bat and am not afraid to use. having said that, this is a beautiful post, filled with the vulnerability of having been subjected to man's inhumanity to man. there's tenderness as you reclaim and recycle. and there's fortitude and metamorphosis as you remember.


    re. member.

    i love you, birthday girl. love you today and every other day.

  7. Muse says:

    I love the concept of recycling yourself. What a painful process- I am awed that your year has contained so much. You've traveled the path of a phoenix. Yes, do remember your strength!

  8. Julie says:

    Recycle. What a wondrous concept! I love this post. Love.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Beautiful post. Recycle. There is always hope. Remember. That uses the past to shine that hope into the future. Best wishes.

  10. mark says:

    I admire your courage

  11. Cristina says:

    Thank you ladies.

  12. you still have inner strength and resiliency. tons of it. you are amazing. and you will never be the same, but that doesn't have to be a bad thing. you have grown, no matter what. and we change every day, we are never the same person we were just yesterday. forward is the only direction that exists.

  13. MrsWhich says:

    You shine.

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